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Chocolate, hazelnut and sherry cake with sherry-raisin cream

Serves 8chocolate hazelnut sherry cake on brown plate with coffee pot

Chocolate and sherry – a marriage made in heaven. Treat yourself to a glass of raisiny sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry to go with it…


for the cake

  • 150g (5oz) plain chocolate
  • 75g (2 ¾oz) unsalted butter
  • 125ml (4fl oz) dry fino sherry
  • 6 medium eggs, separated
  • 160g (5 ¾oz) caster sugar
  • 150g (5 ½oz) shelled hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • a pinch of salt
  • 55g (2oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 55g (2oz) cocoa powder, sifted
  • icing sugar for dusting

For the cream

  • 250g (9oz) raisins
  • 250ml (9fl oz) oloroso sherry
  • 300ml (11fl oz) double cream
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) Greek yoghurt or fromage frais
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) icing sugar


  1. Grease a 22cm (8 ½in) diameter spring-form cake tin, and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.
  2. Put the chocolate, butter and sherry in a bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water. Heat until everything has melted, stirring from time to time to help it along. Let this cool.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until glossy. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and 70g (2 ½oz) of the hazelnuts. Beat the egg whites until fairly stiff. Using a large metal spoon loosen the chocolate mixture with 1 big spoonful of egg white, then fold in the rest with the flour, cocoa and salt.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in an oven preheated to 180°c (350°f) Gas mark 4 for 50 minutes. Test the cake with a skewer and, if it comes out clean, it’s done; otherwise leave it for another 5-10 minutes, but keep checking with a skewer. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for half an hour before turning it out.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the raisins in the sherry for the cream. When the sherry is just under boiling point, turn the heat off and leave the raisins to plump up and cool.
  6. Whip the cream and stir the yoghurt and sugar into it. Add the raisins with their soaking liquid and check the sweetness.
  7. Dust the surface of the cake with a little icing sugar, then scatter the rest of the chopped hazelnuts on top. Finish with another light dusting of icing sugar and serve with dollops of the cream.

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